Beware. That supposedly healthy box of cereal? It may be packed with fat, sugar and salt, warns Dr. Mehmet Oz. On his Feb. 27 talk show, Dr. Oz exposed the hidden fat in your foods that can make you pack on the pounds. Learn what to avoid and smart swaps for effortless weight loss. Plus: Get the newest diet tips from Dr. Oz to blast belly fat.
Dr. Oz's guest expert Michael Moss says that the food industry is conspiring to include extra fat, sugar and salt in many popular foods. He's the Pulitzer Prize author of "Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us" (click for details).
As a nation, we're addicted to junk food, says Moss. We eat on average:
- more than 33 pounds of cheese per year
- More than 70 pounds of sugar per year
- Up to six pounds of salt per year
Moss warns that when your diet comes largely from processed products, it's easy to become addicted without knowing it to salt, sugar and fat. These three additives can be hidden under names on the label such as "natural flavors." The result: Food addiction.
An example of a product to avoid: Potato chips. They're fried in fat, covered in salt and contain simple carbohydrates, which your body breaks down to sugar. Result: Higher blood sugar spikes and cravings than if you swallowed the same amount of regular sugar.
What to do? Moss and Oz agree: Consumers need to become "food label vigilantes." Seek and buy foods that are lower in sodium, sugar and fat. Aim to eat more natural, plant-based snacks and food.
In addition, Dr. Oz offered several diet tips on his show. Although he previously recommended agave syrup in place of sugar and artificial sweeteners, he says he is reversing that recommendation.
Agave has been shown to put you at risk for weight gain and belly fat, warns Dr. Oz. In addition, it can increase insulin resistance while increasing your risk for both metabolic syndrome and heart disease.
What to use instead to sweeten your food and beverages? Dr. Oz recommends raw honey, which contains less fructose than most agave. He says it is the only natural sweetener with other health benefits, which include anti-microbial, heart-healthy and anti-inflammatory effects.
Dr. Oz recommends raw organic honey for the best benefits. Look for it at health food stores or online such as Y.S. Eco Bee Farms Raw Honey (click for details).
And here's Dr. Oz's diet tip of the day: Monounsaturated fatty acids, or MUFAs, can actually blast belly fat and boost your weight loss.
A new study from the American Diabetic Association revealed that a diet high in MUFAs both reduced tummy fat and controlled insulin sensitivity. Foods that are rich in MUFAs include:
- olives and olive oil
- coconut oil such as Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil (click for details).
- nuts like cashews, almonds and pecans
- nut butters such as Barney Butter Almond Butter
- dark chocolate: Learn about how to use dark chocolate to boost your weight loss by clicking here.